Contentious penalty helps City to Nix win

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Melbourne City have beaten Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in a hotly contested encounter which saw 44 fouls and two penalties awarded.

After beating Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in their Round 1 clash, Melbourne City entered the fixture as favourites and also with the chance to move to second on the Hyundai A-League table.

A rampant first ten minutes – dominated by City – at a frenetic pace, set the tone from the outset.

City did not take long to put extraordinary pressure on Wellington, with their first chance coming inside the first minute. An Anthony Caceres shot from an Ivan Franjic cross deflected and skimmed the post, before rolling out of play.

It was an excellent start for the home side.

City’s second chance followed soon after in the 8th minute as Luke Brattan worked his way into the box before Wellington ‘keeper Glenn Moss made a save from point blank range.

There was controversy in the 12th minute and City had their hearts in their mouths as Connor Chapman’s effort to nod back to Dean Bouzanis was almost intercepted by Roy Krishna. The Wellington number 21 appeared to be brought down by City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, but referee Kurt Ams quickly quashed any calls for a penalty.

After 30 minutes City had unquestionably dominated possession but failed to capitalise.

A question that loomed early was whether City coach John van’t Schip’s decision to start Fitzgerald over Bruce Kamau would prove to be the right one.

Van’t Schip’s selection of Fitzgerald was quick to pay dividends however and his excellent first half was rewarded when he cut onto his left just inside the box as his shot deflected off Adam Parkhouse and into the back of the net.

City finally found a way to beat Moss and it was the home side who led 1-0 as Kurt Ams blew his whistle and signalled for halftime.

Dean Bouzanis sprang into action to save a Finkler effort in the 51st minute – the time it took Wellington to achieve their first shot on target.

The away side needed to increase their intensity and physicality if they hoped to penetrate the City defence.

Almost as if on song, Kurt Ams called for a Wellington penalty after Franjic committed a senseless foul inside the box that saw Barbarouses’ shirt tugged.

Roy Krishna stepped up for Wellington and his penalty was marvellously saved by a fully stretched Bouzanis arm, however, Krishna followed up his effort and tapped home to equalise for the men in yellow. 1-1.

Just ten minutes later, a contentious decision saw Kurt Ams award City a penalty after Marco Rossi was fouled for holding onto Fornaroli’s jersey. The Uruguayan and City captain calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner to give City back the lead.

It would have been safe to assume City had the three points secured, however, that was until the 89th minute when substitute Hamish Watson fed an absolute peach of a ball across goal to Andrew Durante, but he was unable to slot home a late equaliser for Wellington.

After three minutes of stoppage time, Kurt Ams signalled for fulltime to hand City a 2-1 win over the traveling Wellington Phoenix.

The three points sees the men in light blue move to second on the Hyundai A-League table behind Sydney FC, the team they will face in the FFA Cup Final on Wednesday night at AAMI Park.

Melbourne City 2 (Fitzgerald 45’, Fornaroli 71’ pen.)
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Krishna 59’)

Stadium: AAMI Park
Crowd: 10,644

Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder

Melbourne City: 3. ROSE Joshua, 4. CHAPMAN Connor, 5. FRANJIC Ivan, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 10. CACERES Anthony, 12. FITZGERALD Nick, 20. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 22. JAKOBSEN Michael, 23. FORNAROLI Bruno (C) (11. KAMAU Bruce 79’), 26. BRATTAN Luke (9. CALAZO Nicolas 76’), 27. BRANDAN Fernando (17. CAHILL Tim 66’)
Substitutes: 1. SORENSEN Thomas (GK), 2. MUSCAT Emmanuel, 9. COLAZO Nicolas, 11. KAMAU Bruce, 17. CAHILL Tim

Wellington Phoenix: 1. MOSS Glen (GK), 2. TRATT Jacob, 4. BONEVACIA Rolieny (11. WATSON Hamish 83’), 7. FINKLER Guilherme (23. RIDENTON Matthew 86’), 8. RODRIGUEZ Alex, 9. BARAROUSES Kosta, 12. PARKHOUSE Adam (16. FENTON Louis 72’), 13. ROSSI Marco, 17. LIA Vince, 21. KRISHNA Roy, 22. DURANTE Andrew
Substitutes: 5. LOWRY Ryan, 11. WATSON Hamish, 16. FENTON Louis, 20. ITALIANO Lewis (GK), 23. RIDENTON Matthew

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Adrian Johnsonhttps://thefootballsack.com.au
A-Grade football fan, C-grade player

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